Everyone seems to have an opinion as to why President Obama won a second term. Similarly, those same opinions also apply to why Mitt Romney lost.
Here are my thoughts as to why the election turned out as it did:
1. Obama’s superior political organization — Even those who are opposed to Obama will concede his extraordinary talents as a campaigner. Just as important was his well-oiled political organization which micro-managed another victory. Obama may very well have run the two most effective campaigns in American history — (If there’s still any doubt, think of the odds going into 2008 that a Black man with the name “Barack Hussein Obama” would be elected on a national level). Obama won states and regions he needed to win to get re-elected, which is a testament to a phenomenal strategy and organization.
2. Romney’s “47 percent” comment — All elections have key moments that become tipping points. Not only the revelation but the actual existence of a video showing Romney speaking candidly to wealthy donors and dismissing nearly half the U.S. population was an albatross that proved to be impossible to shake.
3. Romney’s perceived opposition to women’s equality — Look at the numbers. They don’t lie. President Obama won over women by nearly ten points over Romney — a staggering statistic. Sure, Romney carried male voters — but by a much smaller margin.. No doubt, Romney’s waffling on the “equal pay for equal work” cost him some votes, combined with some very conservative ideas on women’s issues that undoubtedly turned off many (mostly) younger women.
You have been entrusted with the greatest privilege any American can be given. That is the honor of leading our nation.
Over the next four years, you will face many tough decisions. If there are doubts about which direction to go, I have a few words of advice: Remember the message that got you elected. Remember the things you stood for that won you 60 million votes, not just once — but twice. Remember the causes you championed out on the campaign trail that brought cheers from the crowds. Those were not conservative ideas. They were not even moderate ideas. For the most part, they were liberal ideas. That’s what got you elected, Mr. President — a second time.
They’re willing to resort to any means necessary to defeat the incumbent President.
They will lie. They will cheat. They will steal. And, then when that’s not enough to produce a voting majority, they’ll lie even more.
Consider the wacko disinformation campaign that’s been blasted from one inbox to another over the Internet ever since the name “Barack Obama” surfaced as a serious Presidential candidate, some five years ago. Since then, we’ve witnessed a toxic assembly line of lies almost always consisting of fabricated junk meant to create confusion and hatred for the President — about his intentions, about his character, even about his patriotism and nationality. I suspect that most of you reading today’s column have received these same emails occasionally, which are essentially nothing more than political garbage.
Invariably, they are easily debunked as completely false. Most of the time, a ten-second Google search reveals most of this stuff is quite simply made up. Yet, just as it’s difficult to scrub the ring out of a toilet bowl, the filthy concoction of lies continues to get passed from one scared little person to another, circling around in the right wing’s sewer pipes, pumped from one fanatic to the next.
In a proverbial sense, Rome is burning to the ground. And, while much of our national economy lays in ashes and the American Dream smolders in flames, all anyone seems to be talking about is the opera.
That’s the terrible tragedy of tonight’s Presidential Debate, which has been covered and discussed more like the buildup to a Super Bowl game rather than any bona fide exchange of real ideas and actual substance that will solve some very serious problems. At this moment, parading around out in front of the arena where the debate will take place, thousands of “fans” are holding signs cheering for their side. One would think Ohio State is playing Michigan. It’s a contest of who can scream the loudest or who can make the cleverest sign.
Indeed, the gravity of our nation’s problems are very real and quite serious. Yet — while a senseless foreign war continues, while we continue to bleed ourselves dry policing the entire world, while we drown by the trillions in debt, while our inner cities crumble, while affordable health care is more costly and out of reach than ever before, and while millions of Americans remain hopelessly out of work, after tonight’s debate everyone’s going to be asking one utterly baffling question — “who won?”
I’d like to ask my own question — why are we focusing on “who won?” As long as we focus on such trivialities, then we all lose.
That question was posed to me in an email I received this morning from some conservative political group.
It’s a simple question.
Channeling then-candidate Ronald Reagan’s devastating quip from the 1980 Presidential Debates, 11 simple words which effectively ended Jimmy Carter’s political career, has pretty much become the It’s a Wonderful Life of every election cycle. The cozy campaign chestnut is replayed and parroted so frequently (usually by the challenger) that just as soon as the first couple of words are pronounced, a hundred million listeners can complete the sentence on their own. It’s almost like Name that Tune.
Hey, I can name that tune in three notes. All Mitt Romney has to do is cue up the intro, “Are you better…….?”
We all know the rest.
The question is effective because it’s thought provoking.